Not far from Riga in the village Pilsrundale 12 km from the town of Bauska there is a Rundale Palace. It was built in the first part of 18th century for Kurland Duke Ernst Johann von Biron, magnificent favorite of Russian Empress Anna Ioanovna. The Palace was designed by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, the author of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. In the recognized style of the great master of baroque epoch it is sensed some resemblance with the Grand Palace in Peterhof. Rundale Palace used to be Biron’s summer residence whitch Kurland duke liked very much.
Regular park is an integral part of the complex also designed by Rastrelli. The park preserved its initial planning without significant changes and includes a French orchard where more than 20 000 bulbous plants and 2500 rose species on 12 000 bushes blossom.
The whole palace complex including hunting and French parks occupy the area of more than 70 hectares.
Nowadays the Rundale Palace is completely restored outside, as well as inside. Small part of furniture and decoration is presented by authentic things of the corresponding ages. The main part has been made anew in accordance with original sketches and drafts.
Different traditional events are held on the territory of the Rundale Palace, every summer it is organized “Orchard Holiday” and the culmination of the Ancient Music Festival, with concerts, fancy-dress ball and a festive fireworks.
In 2015 BBC filmed some episodes of the screen version of War and Peace by Tolstoy using interiors of the Rundale Palace.
Internet address: www.rundale.net